I wrote this as a version of a PR release for Broadleaf Writers. Though it was sent to writers in that growing community, I feel it’s appropriate for (and meant for) everyone.
Hang in there folks. Stay safe. Be smart.
Feel free to share any thoughts, comments, worries, fears, hopes, etc that you may have.
After the attacks on September 11th, 2001, our country fell silent. The skies were empty, roads spotty with cars, work ground to a stop as schools and stores closed. We waited. For what, we weren’t entirely sure, but we knew a moment was required to pause, reflect, regroup, and plan for the future.
Today is different. Today, while stores may open and work will continue–whether from home or a place of business–the waiting comes with an unknown endpoint. We aren’t recovering from a singular moment. We’re watching it unfold in slow motion across the globe. We’re not facing off against a radical segment of humanity, we’re settling in for a war with a pandemic.
Like any war, it requires a great deal of sacrifice, a willingness to do what must be done in order to save as many lives as we can. It requires solidarity, a desire to lift one another up as we fall, to stand together, as one nation, as one species. It requires faith and hope and an unwavering focus on the day when victory is acheived and life begins anew. Reformed, driven by an experience that reshapes our perspective.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. But there’s darkness to walk before we get there.
But we will get there.
As a writing organization, Broadleaf Writers is designed to influence and inspire writers, to educate and offer instruction in a skill that assists in taking that which is brain-bound and giving it a voice on the page. We are meant to function as a community, to help one another learn, grow, and realize our dreams. I will always believe that we–as humans, as a community, as a collective of like-minded individuals, etc–are only as strong as those we stand beside. So, I encourage you to buckle up, do what you must do to benefit us as a whole, and be prepared to jump in feet-first when it’s time to reset our world (no matter global or the world of your home). Be mindful of others, be mindful of those you love, be mindful of yourself.
And if you find yourself with an abundance of time–as it seems we all may–write. Dig in. Pour your soul onto the page. Take all the fear and worry and concern and hope you’re experience right now and write it out.
As to our slate of 2020 programming, we’re monitoring the virus and recommendations for public gatherings. At the moment, we’re holding a place for our April 11th Write Now program, while moving forward with the open of registration on April 1st for the 5th Annual Broadleaf Writers Conference in October. By then, I’m sure we’ll all need a breakout weekend of fun and community.
For now, stay safe. Follow the recommendations of the medical field and stay home unless you absolutely need to get out. You may be able to withstand the nastiness of an exceptionally powerful flu, but you can’t be certain others you will encounter can. Write. Read. Be with your family. Find reason to laugh as much as possible.
The darkness is temporary. There will be light. Walk the tunnel together and we’ll see what the world looks like when we get there. Then we’ll adjust accordingly.
If you want to share any thoughts–on writing or otherwise–or have some material you’d like feedback on, feel free to reach out. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on Facebook or Twitter.
Be well. My thoughts are with you all.